How to Use Essential Oils to Kill Lice


Lice, a common parasite that infests the hair, often comes home on children’s heads. It is easily transmitted, and requires prompt attention to prevent it from spreading further.

Essential oils can be used to help kill lice.

Note that you will still need to follow other preventative practices such as thoroughly cleaning the individual’s clothes and anything their head has come into contact with. See Additional Resources below.

Here’s how to use essential oils to fight head lice.

Things You'll Need

  • Pure essential oils
  • Jojoba oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Plastic bottle with cap

Use Essential Oils to Kill Head Lice

Choose 100% pure essential oils-only these offer healthful benefits. The label will state "100% pure." You can find them at health food stores and online. Don’t use synthetic oils-they do not have the same benefits.

Buy only Jojoba or Walnut oil that is specifically designed to be used for massage. It has been specially refined and prepared for use on the body. You can get it at health food stores and online. Select from one of the two formulas listed below.

Make a Jojoba oil based formula. Blend 8 drops of Thyme essential oil, 5 drops of Rosemary, and 5 of Lavender with 1 tablespoon (15ml) of Jojoba oil.

Make a Walnut oil based formula. Blend 5 drops of Peppermint essential oil, 5 drops of Ginger, and 5 of Lavender with 1 tablespoon (15ml) of Walnut oil.

Blend well. If you’re making for immediate use, mix with your finger tip. If you’re making a larger batch, blend using a spoon or other clean utensil.

Massage the entire formula thoroughly into the hair and scalp before bedtime. Wrap a towel around the head, leaving it on overnight. Repeat nightly until the lice are gone. Use a fresh head towel each night.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to make a larger batch, simply increase the proportions, such as doubling or tripling the amounts. It will keep.
  • Store all oils in a cool dry place. Keep the lids firmly closed to prevent evaporation, and keep away from sunlight.
  • Follow the Center for Disease Control's instructions on preventing the spread of head lice (see Additional Resources below).
  • Rosemary oil can increase blood pressure. Do not use if the person has high blood pressure.
  • If the head lice do not disappear, consult your health care professional.
  • If any skin irritation occurs, stop using immediately.
  • Do not use essential oils if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant without getting professional advice.

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